How the game was won: Georgia (15-16) used an 18-4 run in the second half to build a 13-point lead and then withstood a late Mississippi State (21-11) charge to advance to the second round of the SEC tournament and potentially knock State off the NCAA tournament bubble.
Stat of the game: Dustin Ware had a couple of his early 3-pointers rattle out and he went to halftime without having scored a single point. But Georgia’s senior guard hit three 3s and another long jumper during the 18-4 run, helping his team take control. He scored 13 points in the second half.
Player of the game: Gerald Robinson. Georgia’s senior point guard set the tone for the Bulldogs’ offense throughout, scoring 12 of his 23 points in the first half and providing several clutch baskets in the second half, as the Bulldogs fought to hold onto their lead.
Unsung hero of the game: Nemanja Djurisic. The freshman post seemed to have his work cut out against Mississippi State’s stellar frontcourt, but he had one of his best games of the season. Djurisic’s 11 points and 10 rebounds marked his first career double-double.
What it means: After a severe second-half swoon, it’s possible -- maybe even likely -- that Mississippi State played itself out of the Big Dance. Meanwhile, Georgia survives to face a Vandy team that beat Georgia in both of their meetings during the regular season. Tip-off is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Friday in New Orleans.